Objective - To evaluate methods for on-farm measurements of uterine contractility in postpartum dairy cows by comparing data simultaneously recorded by use of 2 intrauterine pressure (IUP) devices and quantified electromyographic (EMG) signals. Animals - 5 cows during the first 48 hours after parturition. Procedure - 2 EMG electrodes were implanted on the surface of the gravid uterine horn. Parturition was induced by injection of a prostaglandin F2α analogue at day 274 of gestation. An open-tip catheter and pressure microtransducer were transcervically inserted and affixed to a caruncle immediately after calving. Changes in IUP were recorded concurrent with EMG recordings during 2-hour periods at 2, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 48 hours after parturition. Novel acquisition and analysis software programs were used with a digital data-filtering capability for evaluation of IUP and EMG signals. Results - The method for intrauterine fixation of the 2 pressure measurement instruments was effective and allowed easy, externally guided removal of the devices 48 hours after parturition. There was a high correlation between the data obtained by the 2 pressure measuring systems. Good correlation was also found between pressure data obtained by the open-tip catheter system and EMG signals. Although the quantified IUP and EMG signals were highly comparable, synchronization was not always evident during visual inspection of these signals. Conclusions and clinical relevance - The open-tip IUP catheter system with a special fixation method is suitable for use in on-farm studies. It will enable investigators to record natural and pharmacologically influenced uterine contractility in early postpartum dairy cows.
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